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ROYAL BERKSHIRE RETREATS FIT FOR A PRINCESS

Jessica Baldwin

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From the second our dashing prince presented the nation with Kate, the tides turned. Up went the bunting, out came the union jacks, Britain's streets became one big party to celebrate the fairy-tale union. Now, with the royal baby's arrival upon us, it's time to celebrate the best of Britain and where better to start than the Royal country itself and where Kate grew up. With a fascinating history, a rich-culinary scene and a host of boutique hotels waiting, Berkshire is the perfect staycation. Here are my top ten pit-stops fit for a queen.
The Vineyard

How better to toast the royal baby than with the perfect glass of wine. Deep within the heart of Berkshire hides a Californian gem; The Vineyard at Stockcross. The five star hotel boasts a decadent spa, a delicious French restaurant, and over 30,000 bottles to wash it all down with. Unsurprisingly this classy retreat hides one of Britain's best cellars and is a must for any serious wine-lover. Just a stone's throw from Highclere Castle, The Vineyard is also the perfect base for history buffs and Downton Abbey fans.

Cliveden House

Rich in history this Relais & Chateau property has witnessed over 300 years of passion, politics and parties. Set within 376 acres of stunning National Trust gardens the house was originally created for the Duke of Buckingham and the grand property dates back to 1666. Over the years the grand country house has seen the likes of President Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin and George-Bernard Shaw pass through its doors. Today it also offers a range of interconnecting and dog friendly rooms.

Spring Cottage

Sitting proudly on the leafy banks of the River Thames, Spring Cottage was originally the Duchess of Sutherland's summer house. Today this exquisite property, located within the Cliveden Estate, is available to hire as a holiday house and befitting of its past it comes with its own private butler! The beautiful three bedroom property really feels like a home- it has a cosy snug featuring an open log fire, a private garden and courtyard, a country kitchen complete with its own Aga and even a boat mooring for a Thames escape.

Windsor Castle

Now, a royal round-up of Berkshire wouldn't be complete without Windsor Castle. As the largest inhabited castle in the world it offers a fantastic family day out. Arrive at 11am and you can watch the iconic changing of the guards before embarking on the castle's free family audio tour. Home to a large proportion of the royal collection it is also a haven for art fans.

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